I noticed yesterday, before we went into town to pick up grain and go to a friend’s house for dinner, that Deluxe’s pelvic ligaments had softened considerably. This is usually the last sign we wait for, and one that says that birth is imminent. Still, we went into town and picked up our grain with our new grain trailer (more on this later), then had a wonderful dinner with friends before heading back home. (Mmmmm, homegrown, slow-roasted pulled pork with yummy onions and potatoes from their garden and local pickles which they had just canned. Thanks for the yummy food Mountain Hawk Family Farm. http://mountainhawkfamilyfarm.weebly.com/) When we arrived home, I checked Miss Deluxe and felt like I could call it; we would have a calf in 24 hours or less. The storms rolling through have helped push her into this final stage of her pregnancy, no doubt. The changes in barometric pressure have been known to bring a cow into labor just as the full moon has been known to do.
I awoke early this morning to a steady drizzle, threw on my muck boots, and sprinted out the door…I had a feeling. I walked into the barn at the same time I walked into her previous birthing experience, right as the calf was coming out. Deluxe is such a good mother. She immediately licked her calf clean, drank down a bucket of warm water laced with a little molasses, and moo’d softly to her new little boy as he tried to stand for the very first time. His legs are very long. After his first meal, I put down some fresh bedding and waited with Deluxe as she worked to pass the placenta. Meanwhile, a hen snuck into her hay trough to lay an egg.
After everyone was settled and dry and fed, I let The Dude in to meet the new baby and to do a perimeter check around the paddock. I haven’t seen any coyotes around since we bagged the dark male coyote, and I’m hoping we are done with all that for now. Dude was very interested in the baby’s well being. He sat at the gate and tried to poke his head through while he whined about being left out of the work. He sniffed the warm water in the bucket as I mixed in the molasses and watched carefully as I gently wiped down Deluxe’s dirty teats for the new calf. After it was clear to him that the majority of the work was done, he left to go play with Sami.
We still have to tend to the business of naming this little calf. My husband wants to name him Turd Ferguson (it’s a funny name), but I feel we should consider a 9/11-appropriate name considering he has such a special day as his birthday. Yes, we will process him as beef. And yes, we will still name him. He is a part of our family; same as the nekkid children, the flatulent horse, the bossy hens, the naughty little pigs, the dirty dogs, and the lazy cats. And, of course, us. And, of course, you. ❤